Thursday, December 24, 2009

now we're cooking

dear readers, here is a picture of our new oven. when we moved into our house the kitchen had been put in fairly recently. there was a rather technical oven which had all sorts of features that no-one would ever use, like steam cleaning. i mean, who cleans their oven?

along with a lot of other features of the house, the oven was a bit temperamental. the people who used to own the house were rather slapdash about reading the instructions before doing things, much like herself. the oven would throw a wobbly when it got to a certain temperature and blow all the electrics, plunging the house into darkness. it became the peeps' habit to warn everyone that the oven was on as it would crash all the computers. this was most frustrating if a chap had just written a musing and had not yet saved it.

herself is fortunate in that she has a dear friend who is an engineer. a series of increasingly technical e-mails were exchanged. it appeared that the element might have gone caput. or more accurately the coating on the element had gone caput. it seemed that a certain type of electrical measuring device called a multimeter was needed to ascertain the cause of the problem.

but no sooner had herself borrowed such a thing than the oven stopped blowing the electrics. however, next the grill went caput. the grill was a dual grill. there was an element that went round the middle and and an element that went round the outside. the middle element was the one that went caput. so anything that was being grilled had to be arranged precariously round the outside and would only half cook even then.

herself investigated how much the spare parts might be. and then investigated how much a new oven from ikea might be, while munching her muesli. she spoke to himself, who is the main user of the oven. himself said he just wanted an oven that worked. herself ordered a new oven online and then polished off her breakfast.

the new oven arrived yesterday. the peeps are having curry for christmas dinner so strictly speaking the oven could have waited. but, as regular readers will know, herself does not do waiting. as soon as she got home from work the lights went off and out came the torch. there was a brief interlude when the lights had to go back on so she could look up on the internet how to get the door of the old oven off but no sooner had that been done than we were back in darkness. the young snake charmer was round being looked after while her peeps were off doing something. my boy and the young snake charmer decided that the house being in darkness would make the ideal setting for a swift game of hide and seek. this did nothing to calm things down. the young snake charmer is off her head with excitement about christmas and cannot stop bouncing up and down.

as the old oven came out of the gap, a load of crunchy burnt stuff fell on the floor. young dave considers it his civic duty to hoover up crunchy burnt stuff so placed himself in front of the gap where the oven had been, munching. herself by now was inside the gap, doing up the new wiring by torchlight, showing her generously upholstered rear end to its full effect.

the young snake charmer decided it might be a good idea to hide among the ovens, polystyrene packaging, burnt stuff and dave. a loud crunch rang out.

"oops! i've trodden on something!" giggled the young snake charmer. the peeps exchanged looks in the gloom, hoping it was not a vital part of the oven.

eventually the new oven was in place, the power was restored and the oven was tested. it worked. amazingly. the bit that had been trodden on was repaired and stuck back in place below the oven. it is a fairly essential bit as it is to keep dogs out of the underneath of the oven. young dave has a habit of getting singed while trying to steal food so it is just as well it was not beyond repair.

baked potatoes were put in to cook. the young snake charmer carried on bouncing. by now my boy's friend from next door had come round, wearing a rather interesting hat that makes him look like a spaniel. my boy's friend turned to my boy.

"can we go upstairs? she's scaring me!"

"i'm going to have 3 porn pies!" said my boy.

the mind boggles...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

a most blogworthy day at the office

dear readers, today's photo has nothing whatsoever to do with my post, save for it being a collection of incongruous things. the thing that would have made a fabulous photo was unfortunately not captured on camera, due to a certain urgency about the proceedings which will become clear in due course.

on thursday herself had a rather tricky start to the day, having got stuck in traffic between my boy's college and her office. she was late for work and on the way into the building she got chewed by the lift doors. due to the lateness she had to cancel a meeting about hovercrafts in order to prepare for the afternoon's court hearing. no sooner had herself done this than her young colleague, whose office has a connecting door, came rushing in, all of a fluster.

"that is positively the last time i take the dog for a walk before work!" she fumed.

"what happened?" said herself, mindful of when the young colleague's dog had eaten a pigeon for breakfast and caused all sorts of cafuffle.

"come and look!" said the young colleague. herself went into the next door office. sitting under the young colleague's desk was a very sweet, very small, brown and white dog. herself works in a large, imposing town hall where people are not even allowed to bring their children to work, never mind their pets.

"i got locked out of my house when i took her out!" explained the young colleague. once herself and the very small brown and white dog had become acquainted herself went to fetch a drink of water for her from the watercooler. she had the presence of mind to put the water in a plastic cup rather than a bowl, to avoid giving the impression that the office had a canine visitor.

the very small brown and white dog settled down and, with a few near misses when colleagues came into the office, remained undiscovered until lunchtime. the young colleague then faced the problem of how to smuggle the very small brown and white dog out of the office. herself, ever the inventor, hatched a plan. or in fact several. the first one did not work. this was that the young colleague would wear herself's baggy coat and secrete the very small brown and white dog under it. this would have worked had the very small brown and white dog not wanted to peer out of the top. and had the young colleague not been rather more generously endowed in the chest department than herself, leaving considerably less room in the baggy coat.

plan b was slightly more sensible. the young colleague's room-mate has a rucksack. this was emptied out and the very small brown and white dog was placed inside. yet again her curiosity was a problem. the head sticking out of the top gave the game away. but herself came up with an idea. she smeared the inside of the plastic cup from the water cooler with peanut butter and placed it in the bottom of the bag. the small brown and white dog was occupied trying to lick it out and kept her head tucked in, thus being removed from the building without discovery.

the rest of the day was less eventful, save for herself getting into an argument with the security guard at the court when he insisted on keeping hold of her camera while she was in court. herself was reduced to spluttering in a pompous fashion about how she had been going to court for 20 years and had never had to hand over her camera, and about how everyone has cameras on their phones anyway.

luckily she had the sense not to berate him about how he had failed to discover her swiss army knife...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

hoss chaos

dear readers, here you can see bonzo the hoss in his field. he is a most magnificent beast and herself has fallen in love with him. he has many funny ways, including a trick where if you tickle him under his chin he sticks out his very long tongue. he gently snuffles herself's face and when he is following her round the field he nods vigorously to let her know he agrees wholeheartedly with what she is doing.

on the riding front things have been less successful. herself has been riding since she was a child, but has not really gained much skill. about two weeks ago herself was gently pootling along the lane enjoying the sunshine. she came to an area of open country and having manoeuvred bonzo through the gate was pootling along the track. suddenly a wind came up out of nowhere. bonzo found this most disconcerting and galloped off, heading towards a very steep slope. herself tugged him round sharply to avoid catastrophe. however the saddle did not realise they were about to turn and slid down. it is not clear whether bonzo bucked before or after this happened but herself ended up on the deck. luckily bonzo is very fond of herself and came over when she called but due to his large size and bouncy nature there was no way of getting back on so herself had to walk home.

the next time herself rode, she decided to ride around the field first to settle bonzo down. he was rather on edge and showed this by galloping off and bucking herself off. this time she landed less gently. bonzo came over, shaking like a leaf, to see if she was ok. she was just about ok but very battered. luckily the peeps have plenty of heavy duty painkillers left from when himself had his kidney op so she managed to avoid completely seizing up but it was clear that bonzo would need a little more training before they ventured out again.

luckily the lovely man where herself used to ride is an expert in talking sense into wayward young hosses. so it was arranged that bonzo would go for a little holiday to his yard and herself would go along every day and learn how not to fall off. the lovely man is coming to collect bonzo on friday. and when bonzo returns he will have a little lady friend to share his field. he is clearly lonely and herself has been searching high and low to find a companion but until this week had no luck at all. the little lady friend is a shetland pony called libby. i am not sure what libby will make of the magnificent bonzo. at least she can shelter from the rain under him.

this afternoon herself went up to the field. before she got there she came across bonzo on the track, chatting to another hoss over its fence. luckily herself had a tow rope in the car, and also luckily she knows how to fashion a halter from a rope from her youthful days of riding other people's horses when they weren't looking. bonzo was persuaded to return to his own field. herself went into mrs collie's house and did her cleaning, peering out every now and again to check the errant hoss was in the correct place. when she had washed the floors she left, carefully locking up mrs collie's house. as she got out onto the track she saw bonzo down the track chatting to the hoss from earlier, just as though nothing had happened. herself was less than impressed with this as she had just spent over an hour sorting out the electric fence, getting a shock in the process.

bonzo was persuaded to return yet again with the promise of food. by now the light was going and it was raining hard. herself stood in the field wondering what to do. clearly she could not take bonzo home. we only have a small house and he is a large fellow. but equally clearly she could not contain him in the field. luckily there are some stables owned by mrs collie's neighbours. herself went round there. a lady was feeding her hoss and told herself that she had had to return bonzo to his field earlier, having witnessed him leaping out over the fence. this did not fill herself with joy. she had thought he had stepped over the fence after it fell down. it was not welcome news that he could jump.

"oh, no - he jumped out. he has a huge jump. i saw him last week jumping backwards and forwards over the electric tape that you put in to keep him out of the muddy patch!"

this hoss is clearly something of a comedian.

the lady who owns the stables arrived and after some discussion about worms and passports it was arranged that bonzo would board with them until friday. herself went to fetch him. he was most impressed with the facilities, apart from the geese, who he took a bit of a dislike to. herself had to rush off to fetch my boy from college and deposit him at home and then she returned to feed bonzo and put him to bed, finally getting home properly at 7pm.

all i can say is this hoss makes young dave look very well behaved indeed...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

matters automotive

dear readers, here is a picture of a car very like our new motor. the new motor is called gerald and the peeps are hoping for a little more luck than they had with arthur the audi. as regular readers will recall, herself bought arthur the audi with the remains of her redundancy money. he was a most luxurious vehicle and went very fast but after some months things went the way of the pear, as they have a habit of doing in these parts.

arthur's little problem became apparent at a most inopportune moment, when the next-doors had borrowed arthur to make an important trip to the west country. water suddenly flooded into the footwell and soaked mr next-door's feet. it transpired that this was a problem not unknown in audi A6s. herself got on the net and read about it in some detail. i will not bore you with the technical details but it all comes about because a very tiny drain hole under the bonnet gets blocked, causing water to pour in through the heater vent.

this would not be quite so bad were it not for the fact that the clever people who designed these vehicles had decided to place the car's brains in the floor. just where the water ends up is the computer that works all the electrics. and what do you know - when the computer gets wet all the electrics go funny. the car locks itself with no warning. this is very funny if the keys are inside and the owner is outside. the car flashes its indicators randomly. this can perplex other drivers. sometimes the indicators stay on and don't flash. this happened when the peeps were towing mrs next-door's car to the garage and could have resulted in a double whammy of an accident. there are many other symptoms of a wet brain in a car, most of which give the impression that the car is haunted.

the local garage was unable to ascertain the cause of the water so herself reluctantly booked arthur into the audi dealers. it transpired that the problem was indeed caused by the blocked drain holes and that it would cost a lot of money to fix. the computer part on its own was over £600. herself could see no option but to have the work done and used up the last of the 'emergency cushion money' which the peeps had in the bank in case they needed to buy cushions in a hurry. the bill came to over £1,000 so it is lucky that we have plenty of cushions already.

the following week, while cruising down a canal in scotland, herself received a phone call. it was the audi dealers, calling to tell her that her car was subject to a manufacturer's recall in respect of a problem to do with blocked drain holes.

"i know all about blocked drain holes," squeaked herself, "you folks have just relieved me of over a grand to sort this out!" needless to say, matters did not rest there. on our return from our hols herself engaged in protracted correspondence with the local audi dealers and audi uk over the refund of the money. it was not until she made it clear that a) she was a lawyer and b) if the money did not turn up pronto she would see them in court, that a cheque miraculously appeared.

herself thought this was the end of the matter. but a couple of weeks later arthur had to go in for his yearly MOT test. he failed miserably and herself had to shell out yet more money to fix him up so he could be driven. £800 later arthur was in the middle of his re-test when the brakes jammed on. the garage phoned herself. it appeared that arthur needed a new brake servant because, you guessed it, the drain plugs were blocked again and water had been sucked into the brake system. the garage stripped everything down and wrote herself a report which she could send to audi. arthur was off the road for over a week while the part was sent from audi, who had run low on stocks of them. this is hardly surprising given this masterful piece of automotive design.

while arthur was off the road herself was lucky enough to borrow her maamship's audi tt, a vehicle of modest size but great style. unfortunately young dave and i are not allowed in it due to young dave's unsavoury habits. also unfortunately, it is a rather low slung beast and could not be trusted to make it up to the hoss's field without becoming impaled on the rocky track. herself therefore spent several happy nights striding along the track to feed the hoss in the dark in the face of horizontal wind and rain. arthur's name was mud, as was the field.

no sooner had arthur returned than herself was yet again in correspondence with audi. this time they did not put up much of a fight and a cheque to pay for the brake servant was soon winging its way to us. by now it had become apparent that a car with greater ground clearance was going to be needed to get up to the field but herself had fallen out of love with arthur anyway so did not feel in the slightest bit sad to see the back of him. and so we are now the proud owners of gerald, having part-exchanged arthur.

gerald is a very pleasant vehicle and apparently has heated seats in the front. not that young dave and i are ever going to get to try them. the heated seats have come in very handy for herself as she is rather battered and bruised, having fallen off the hoss twice in just over a week. i will save that little saga for another post...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

long time no see

dear readers, yet again i find myself starting a post with a grovelling apology for my absence from these parts. since the arrival of the new family member things have been somewhat busy even by our standards. quite a lot of the busyness was hoss-related but, as is the way with the peeps, circumstances conspired to cause further chaos. much of the chaos has been excellent blog-fodder but herself has been too busy to assist me in recording it.

the hoss arrived at the end of october but for reasons relating to arthur the audi young dave and i did not meet him for some time. so we were reduced to eavesdropping on hoss-related conversations to find out about him. he is a large hairy fellow called bonzo, who is showing the beginnings of a fine moustache. were he a lady he could join the Hoard of Menopausal Women with such a moustache. he has big shaggy legs and a wiggly top lip like an elephant's trunk. when young dave and i finally were introduced the hoss put his huge head down and gave us a little sniff, before nodding vigourously. i feel we are going to become good friends.

once the hoss had arrived herself had to sort him out a shelter. he lives on a very windy hill in a very windy field belonging to herself's friend mrs collie. as mrs collie is very soft-hearted about animals it was essential that the hoss had a shelter very soon. otherwise mrs collie would have parked him in her living-room which, given herself is cleaning mrs collie's house in return for the field, would have added considerably to her workload.

hoss shelters, it seems, are quite expensive. herself trawled the internet and spoke to local shelter builders but was unlucky. luckily mick the builder was nearby, doing work on her maamship's house over the road. mick the builder and his brother martin have been doing building for the peeps for years and are used to herself's ways.

"can you build me a hoss-shelter?" asked herself, as mick the builder struggled with an acrow prop and a large metal beam.

"when do you need it done?" grunted mick the builder.

"yesterday," said herself. i think this may have been slightly tongue in cheek. mick the builder, while very good at building, has not yet mastered time travel.

the shelter was built and here you can see the hoss enjoying a haynet in comfort. but as herself had the attention of the builders and they had a little slot before their next job, the peeps decided to have a wall taken down and the leaky kitchen roof mended. this entailed the living room being encased in a plastic sheet and made to look like a crime scene. the ensuing untidyness and distraction meant that young dave was able to eat yet another pair of herself's glasses. this brings the total almost into double figures, if you include the ones that herself ordered off the internet that young dave ate when they came through the letter box, and of course the various sunglasses. herself was surprisingly laid back about this. she said she had a spare pair at work.

when she got to work she found she did not have a spare pair. after a couple of hours of peering at her monitor with the picture zoomed in she went out and bought some reading glasses from the optician over the road to the office. the new glasses were called 'so slim' which made the peeps laugh. herself is not very slim at all.

the next day herself got into work and could not find the glasses. she had put them in her bag when she left the house but they were nowhere to be found. young dave's name was mud. at lunchtime herself went to boots and bought another pair of reading glasses. these ones make her look like michael cain. when she got in the car to come home she found the first set of replacement glasses under the seat. why does this not surprise me?

as for the trials and tribulations of arthur the audi, i think i am going to have to tell you about those another time. there is only so much a chap can cope with at my age...

Friday, October 16, 2009

my kingdom for a hoss

dear readers, much has been happening of late. but the most notable thing that has happened is that we are to have a new family member! he is large and hairy and by all accounts a thoroughly nice chap.

when i first saw a picture of him i was rather alarmed. he is very large indeed. he is so large that there is no way that he would ever fit on the sofa. or indeed in the living room. or the house. but i need not have worried. herself had a plan. she has a friend with a field opposite her house. the new family member is to live in the field, in return for which herself is going to clean her friend's house every week.

i was also concerned as to how on earth the peeps were going to afford to feed such a large animal. the saying 'eating like a horse' was invented for a reason. but herself has that covered too. she is doing her maamship's gardening in return for hay and cleaning for the snake charmers in return for sacks of horse food.

and for all the other expenses like horseshoes she has come up with an ingenious plan. it will be possible to sponsor bits of the horse! the original idea was just to have people sponsoring a hoof. but as is the way with herself's ideas, the idea morphed into something altogether more complicated.

the snake charmers jumped in first and bagged their favourite body parts. the young snake charmer is going to sponsor the face. this is because she loves horse noses. mrs snake charmer is going to sponsor the mane, and has negotiated the right to tie ribbons in it on special occasions. mr snake charmer originally expressed an interest in sponsoring the wedding tackle, but swiftly changed his mind when he heard that part of the sponsorship arrangement involved being allowed to groom your body part when ever you wanted to and being given a photograph of your body part to hang on the wall. while there is no doubt that the wedding tackle on a horse is a sight to behold, hence the saying 'hung like a horse', having a photo of it on your wall might lead to gossip. particularly if, like mr snake charmer, you work in a school.

my boy, needless to say, was scathing about the sponsorship plan.

"are you going to have signs all over the horse? will there be one on the tail saying 'sponsored by marks and spencers'?" herself mulled this over for a while.

"you've given me another idea!" she said, "i can sell advertising to local businesses!"

i am not sure what the horse will make of this. he does have a lot of white areas on him but he may draw the line at having the name of the local butcher scrawled across his rump...

Monday, September 28, 2009

fame and misfortune

dear readers, this picture has nothing much to do with my musing for today, but herself likes to have a picture for you. this is gimley and daisy. more unlikely friends it would be hard to imagine. daisy tells gimley what to do. daisy is on the right.

today's musing is about legal matters. and shingle. i will start with the shingle since it is more interesting. regular readers will know that her maamship has had to buy a house over the road to the peeps in order to avoid having to sleep in her van when she visits. the house over the road was previously owned by a lady whose health was poor, so the garden is in a bit of a mess. herself offered to do the garden. her maamship was pleased with this plan. she gave herself a free rein on the design, as she is so fond of our garden. i am not sure this was such a good idea. himself was rather negative about it too. he likes things to be done properly, with a plan. herself tends to be rather more organic in her designs.

today herself ordered a huge bag of shingle and some railway sleepers. the shingle is to cover all the weeds and the railway sleepers are to make a raised veg bed. herself made it clear to the bloke at the builders merchant that when they delivered them they should place the bag of shingle in the front garden on the lawn and be careful not to crush the flowers. she then went off to ride mrs lupin's horse, who is a most charming chap.

when she got back, the builders merchant had delivered the railway sleepers and the shingle. the railway sleepers were neatly stacked alongside the house. the huge bag of shingle was in the road. this in itself would not have been such a problem. but it was in the space for the car owned by the lady at the end of the road. this lady cannot walk very far which is why she has a special space for her car. her car was in the rest of the space but herself felt very worried that the lady would have trouble getting out. she went round and apologised to the lady. then the peeps spent a happy hour shovelling shingle into the front garden of her maamship's house. as soon as they had lightened the bag sufficiently they were able to pull it out of the lady's space and into a space that adjoined it. by now the peeps were a little flaked, so after a shower they settled down to an evening of chefs and forensic science dramas.

and the legal thing? i am threatened with being sued! i cannot think of a greater honour than to have annoyed someone enough for them to feel they need to sue me. and as herself says, all i have to my name is a magnetic collar, so it is a fruitless exercise. i am to be sued because i offered words of support to the famous inspector gadget, a blogger of repute. as the dear inspector is also owned by a lurcher i felt it was the least i could do. so watch this space...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

fame at last

dear readers, i have finally arrived. i will need to provide a bit of background first, so do try to keep up. i know i am prone to rambling a bit, but a chap my age is allowed a bit of leeway.

as regular readers will know, a nice lady comes to see my boy every saturday for a couple of hours. this started some years ago when the peeps discovered the sitting service. this is run by social services and involves volunteers coming to sit with wild young people so their parents could go out together. when my boy first had his sitter the peeps had not been out together for almost a year so it was revolutionary.

now my boy is old enough to be left on his own you would think he would no longer need sitting on, but my boy and his sitter have become firm friends so she still comes every week. they are an unlikely pair to be friends. she is a retired civil servant, who has led a very quiet life. she is a lady of strong religious convictions, so my boy had to be firmly instructed very early on to keep his atheist rantings to himself. so they sit side by side in my boy's room, surrounded by imitation guns all over the walls. my boy plays whatever horrific computer game has his fancy that week and his sitter does crosswords and word puzzles. meanwhile the peeps go out on a date.

it has to be said, the peeps took some time to understand the meaning of going on a date. they were decidedly out of practice. so for a long time they went to lidl, or the tip. but they are gradually learning. last night, when my boy's sitter came, young dave and i took the peeps for a lovely long walk along the beach. we rounded off the outing with a pint at a local hostelry. i have of course been visiting such places for many years but for young dave it is still a novelty. there was a certain amount of grizzling from his direction, largely because the people at a nearby table had failed to understand that he wanted to help them finish their dinner.

herself apologised for young dave's manners. it is stretching things to say he is a puppy these days as he is over a year old, but he still retains a very puppyish look so he is forgiven a lot of misdemeanours. the people at the nearby table were charming. they said they had seen us earlier on our walk and that we were gorgeous.

"they ought to be famous!" said the lady. herself explained that we were indeed famous and that i was a world famous author and had my own blog. she had to explain about the typing business and how i found it hard with my paws so she had to do the typing for me.

"so he even has his own p.a.!" exclaimed the lady, thrilled to have met me.

as we left the pub herself said that having a p.a. did not mean i was going to get away with any nonsense and that i shouldn't get too big for my boots. we shall see...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

one step forwards, two steps sideways

dear readers, this week has seen yet more drama. my boy goes to college on mondays, tuesdays and thursdays. herself foresaw potential for fussing on monday and tuesday and roped in girl in a trench to assist. monday dawned and my boy was hauled out of bed, placed in an upright position and left to get himself dressed. girl in a trench had spent the night on the sofa with young dave keeping her feet warm. at home she has a hot water bottle with a grey furry cover so young dave is a good substitute. when herself came down in the morning, girl in a trench told her about having got up in the night for a pee and returning to find dave fast asleep in the warm bit in her bed.

"you had better watch out how you tell people that," said herself, "it would be less open to misinterpretation if he was called fido."

my boy eventually came downstairs, munched some breakfast, took his meds and was ready to go. herself, girl in a trench and my boy set off in a fairly cheery fashion. after my boy had been dropped off, herself dropped girl in a trench at the station as she had to go to london to see about getting herself a trowel and various other tools ready for her own college course. herself went off to the stables. she was having a lovely ride in the autumn sun when her phone went. it was my boy's tutor. herself said she would ring back when she had disembarked from the horse. at the stables she called back.

"he's saying he wants to come home," he said. herself said this was not really a good idea as my boy would not go back if he was allowed to do this. then my boy came on the phone, wailing. herself spent some time explaining to him that this was not going to happen and that he had to get used to college. then his tutor came back on the phone and said that it was fine and that my boy would be ok. when herself went to fetch him at the end of the day he was indeed ok and had spent some happy time with the chickens.

on the tuesday girl in a trench was again in attendance, having returned from london the night before. dave had again performed hot water bottle duties. my boy was much more alive and ready to roll and they set off with no bother at all. when he was collected, having managed to keep in good heart all day, he grudgingly agreed that it was not such a bad place at all. herself almost refrained from having a good gloat.

on wednesday evening things began to look less positive. my boy had spent the day at home and had reminded himself of the comfort of a darkened room. he started up.

"if i say i feel sick you won't think i am making it up like with school will you?"

"i will make a judgement based on the facts before me," replied herself, in something of a lawyerish tone. her scepticism proved well-advised. about half an hour later my boy re-appeared, looking pale.

"i've got a bad tum!" he wailed.

"that'll be the thyroxin," said herself. my boy has to take pills to make his fire-oid work faster.

later he appeared again.

"i feel sick!" herself stood firm.

"we'll see how you are in the morning. if you still feel sick you can have a travel pill."

my boy eventually went to bed, moaning and groaning. in the morning he started where he had left off.

"i'm too ill to go to college! i feel dreadful."

"its just nerves," said herself firmly, "we've been through all this. if you feel sick you can have a pill."

some time went by and there was no sign of my boy. himself went up to get him moving. soon yelling could be heard from under my boy's duvet. it became clear that he was refusing to get up. young dave and i were unable to assist as there is a gate across the bottom of the stairs to keep young dave downstairs. (on the odd occasion when he has managed to wangle his way past it he has been found stretched out on the bed, once when both peeps were asleep on either side of him. it takes considerable stealth to climb onto the bed without waking herself, who is a very light sleeper.)

herself went up. himself had hold of one arm and was tugging my boy out of bed. my boy was resisting. in the end he stood up and himself got him dressed. my boy came downstairs and spent the next quarter of an hour slouching around looking pale. by now himself had lost the plot and was told to take me and young dave out for our walk. this was probably wise as he was looking rather murderous.

herself then tried reasoning with my boy for a while. she offered him a travel pill to help with the sickness. my boy refused, no doubt worried that he might stop feeling sick if he took the pill. when herself was reduced to shouting "take the bloody pill!" she realised that she too had lost the plot and went for a shower.

himself returned. by now my boy was back in his bed, although he had not had the forethought to get undressed. this was his downfall. the peeps pulled him out of bed and shuffled him down the stairs, with himself behind pushing and herself in front, pulling. young dave and i watched open-mouthed. my boy is nearly six feet tall and not easy to push, or indeed pull. he was brought to the bottom of the stairs. herself opened the front door. my boy took the opportunity of her having let go of one hand to attach himself to the bannisters like a limpet. for someone who had been so wan and feeble he had found a store of strength from somewhere.

himself went behind and pushed from a different angle. herself pulled. all at once my boy was in the front garden. herself let go of one arm to shut the front door and my boy sprinted off up the road. it is amazing how a little fresh air gets rid of nausea so quickly. the peeps stood on the doorstep looking at each other.

"you get his bag and i'll get some help," said herself. she went next door. mr next door opened the door.

"help!" said herself, pointing up the road to where my boy was visible, pressed against a wall.

"i'll go and get him," said mr next door. he is a man of imposing stature but in fact did not need to do any more than chat to my boy for a while before my boy came back. the peeps were waiting by the car. mr next door was talking to my boy about how he would teach him the guitar (mr next door is the most amazing guitar player) and talking about how long my boys fingers were.

"i need my pocket knife, and my satnav," said my boy. herself got out her phone and rang the house. from the road you could hear the phone in the house ringing. you could even hear himself answering. it is at moments like this that the absurdity of the situation strikes home. himself said he would look and bring them out. at this moment mr snake charmer came round the corner, carrying the long-handled pruners. my boy looked alarmed. in fact herself had asked mr snake charmer to drop them off so she could tackle her maamship's garden, but their arrival was opportune.

"so we're in the happy tree today then?" asked mr snake charmer. herself was feeling somewhat out of her tree so did not grasp that this alluded to a rather odd tv programme. just then herself's phone rang. it was himself to say he could not find the pocket knife.

"look, i'll go in and get it," said my boy.

"if you think i am going to let you go back in there after all this you have to be madder than you seem!" said herself.

"i know when i am defeated," said my boy, waving vaguely at the surrounding adults. having extracted a promise that he would come back out herself agreed. as they stood by the car waiting for the next round, herself remarked on how moments such as this, while trying at the time, provided good blog-fodder.

my boy was eventually put in the car and herself drove off, having locked the doors as a precaution. one of my boy's earlier efforts to put the peeps off making him go to college had been to say he would jump out of the car when it was on the dual carriageway, so herself was not being over-cautious.

after 5 minutes in the car my boy ate a bag of crisps and settled down to his fate.

"did you know that you can send yourself into a catatonic state by reverse blinking of the eyes?" he asked.

"did you know that you can send yourself into a catatonic state by having an autistic teenager?" she countered.

when she went to pick him up at the end of the day, his tutor came out. he is a wonderful man with a will of steel, disguised in a slightly camp manner, a nice sense of humour and a clear empathy for wild young people.

"how you went on this morning is not acceptable," he said to my boy, "if you give your mum jip, you give me jip. i will not have it again." my boy looked suitable chastened and promised not to repeat the experience. i think this time the message has sunk in...

Friday, September 18, 2009

and relax...

i know my readers will be keen to know how today went so i have forced herself to type a quick post. the day started off with a rather poor omen - herself cut her mouth on her muesli. how anyone can get an injury from breakfast cereal is beyond me but if anyone can it is herself. luckily things improved after that.

my boy got dressed with scarcely a whimper. mr snake charmer came round to cheer us all on. mrs next door went along to the nice college with the animals with herself and my boy and by all accounts it went swimmingly, in spite of there being a lot of hanging around and paperwork. my boy was photographed for his id card and managed not to look like an axe murderer. they met the other students and the tutors who seem very nice.

my boy is going to be part of a project involving chicken husbandry which herself said meant he had to marry a chicken. my boy said this was a rather limp joke. anyway, they came home half an hour ago looking very much cheerier than before. so there will be celebrations this weekend...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

the end of the world is nigh

dear readers, since our return from our hols, things have been a little on the tough side with my boy. regular readers will know that he has not been in school since january. for the whole of this year herself has been attempting to sort out some sort of education for him, against a backdrop of threats from the local irritation authority to take the peeps to court.

after several false starts, the peeps settled on the nice college with the animals as a good place for my boy to go. my boy was on the face of it very happy with this. herself and my boy went for taster days, which, although my boy was less happy with, seemed to go pretty well. my boy was offered a place to start in september. herself then embarked on a lengthy battle with the local irritation authority about them paying the fees. this has yet to be resolved so her maamship has very kindly lent the money to the peeps in the interim.

fast forward to the present. as the date for starting at the nice college with the animals drew near, my boy started to get the collie-wobbles. this is largely because he does not like new things. people of the beefburger persuasion do not like change. there was a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. herself felt this keenly and spent many hours comforting my boy, whilst telling him that it would be fine once he got there and got used to it.

as my boy's main objective was to avoid going to the nice college with the animals in order to devote himself to a career sitting in a darkened room playing computer games, he decided to try a new approach. this involved saying his life was no longer worth living if he had to go to college. herself felt this even more keenly. she grew up with a father who had a similar approach to life and went to considerable lengths to put it into practice, at great emotional cost to his family.

after 3 or 4 days of my boy saying he was going to kill himself herself snapped and burst into tears.

"when i was your age i was in an ambulance with my father being rushed to hospital having his stomach pumped out! it is totally immoral for you to be using emotional blackmail like this to avoid going to college!"

with that she went into the garden for a good cry. my boy came out and apologised. for a few days things quietened down.

as the day approached when my boy would start college, he tried a new tack.

"i'm not going to that hell-hole. you can't make me. you are practicing satanic experiments on me!"

"we can make you and we will make you," said herself, "your father and i will end up in court if you don't get back into education. i will get the Hoard of Menopausal Women to come round and we will get you dressed and put you in the car and take you there every day until you get used to it and stop fussing."

my boy went off to think this over. a little later he came back.

"you can't make me go if i am not here. i will run away."

this plan had the peeps open-mouthed.

"running away might be a little tricky, given the agoraphobia," himself pointed out, "where would you run away to?"

"the stables." said my boy, "i like the stables. the atmosphere there is nice."

"that's good," said herself, tongue in cheek, "i'll be able to see you when i go riding." (my boy has recently been to the stables with herself and girl in a trench. they had spent a morning painting stable doors while my boy harangued herself with how poor a parent she was and how she had never made a good decision about his upbringing in his whole 14 years. girl in a trench took the opportunity of him wandering off to kick a stone around in a depressed manner to compliment herself on her patience in the face of such a relentless onslaught of woe. "it takes practice," said herself glumly.)

yesterday mr snake charmer and the young snake charmer came round after school. the young snake charmer had made up a song about mushrooms which she sang to everyone. in between the mushroom song my boy entertained the assembled folks with increasingly extreme plans for avoiding college. mr snake charmer has a robust approach to my boy. having taught him smiths for most of a year he knows most tricks in my boy's book. the running away plan came up again.

"how will you know where to start?" asked mr snake charmer, "have you got 'running away simulator' on your computer?" (my boy has been collecting the weirdest simulation games he can find, including 'fork lift truck simulator', 'crane simulator' and 'farming simulator'. he also has 'subway train simulator' which has the added complication of being in german.)

then my boy moved onto a more extreme plan.

"i will nail myself to a cross," he announced, "then you won't be able to get me in the car."

this was greeted with a stunned silence, followed by a cacophony of responses, ranging from guffaws from mr snake charmer to herself's more thoughtful contribution.

"there is a rather obvious flaw with that plan," she said.

"what?" said my boy, taken aback at her lack of distress.

"unless you have a very long handle on the hammer you will not be able to hammer in the last nail." herself often retreats into practicality in the face of horror.

this prompted mr snake charmer to do an impression of my boy trying to persuade a passer-by to help him out with his last nail which had even my boy beginning to see the absurdity of his latest idea. he went off in a huff with the young snake charmer to play bus simulator, leaving the adults to plan for friday, when he has to attend for the enrolment and induction day.

as well as the Hoard of Menopausal Women, mr snake charmer is going to call round to supply additional muscle if required, together with caustic wit, which he has in spadefuls. i think my boy is beginning to realise that he is going to have to buckle down and get on with it...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

tanked up

on day two of our hols we were woken again at the crack of dawn, indeed well before the crack of dawn, and taken off to the park with the metal trees for a quick run around. then the peeps spent a frantic hour tidying up her maamship's flat, which had descended into the chaos they take with them wherever they go. after that we all piled into hattie, who is her maamship's campervan. the reason we went in hattie rather than arthur the audi was because of my boy's fear of travel. he loves hattie and spent lots of time fiddling around with her cupboards and switches before settling down with his laptop to play a computer game called morrowind.

young dave and i managed to find a space on the floor to kip, although young dave very quickly wormed his way onto himself's lap, where he collapsed in a hairy grey heap. after quite some time we arrived at the services where we were meeting her maamship and the prof. and sure enough, there they were! it always amazes me when any of the peeps' arrangements comes off. after a bit of pottering around and a cuppa we set off again, following their car. about 20 miles further on the deisel light came on. this was hattie's way of telling the peeps that she was thirsty. herself indicated to her maamship and the prof that she was turning off and we headed into the filling station. herself pulled up by the pump and got out.

"its the other side!" called her maamship. herself got back in and moved to a different pump. she fiddled around with the keys and unlocked the filler cap. as she finished filling up her maamship came out from the shop, having paid for her own fuel.

"its the ignition key," she said, seeing herself having trouble locking up the cap. herself managed to lock the cap with another little key and got back into the driving seat. we headed off again up the motorway. a little bit further on herself turned to himself.

"the fuel light hasn't gone off," she said, rather worriedly, "i hope its ok."

"you don't think you put it in the wrong place do you?" said himself, ever the optimist. a rapid phone call to the prof established that this was indeed what had happened. herself had filled up hattie's water tank with deisel. there was a fair bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of herself. it was agreed that we would all turn off at the next exit. it was also established that hattie would need a new water tank. herself was somewhat crushed.

this time her maamship filled hattie up, which seemed like a sound idea. herself might have filled up some other tank instead. luckily her maamship is a person who is not easily flustered. she seemed to take all this in her stride.

we carried on with our journey and eventually got to the place where the boat was. we had a quick lesson in which end was which (something her maamship and the prof have very little need of, being boat experts) and then got into a sort of boat queue. ahead of us was a rather impressive structure, which i discovered was a boat lift. now usually it is young dave who exhibits signs of a nervous disposition. but on this occasion it was my good self who got the collie-wobbles. teetering hundreds of feet in the air in a boat in a large container filled with water is not my idea of a relaxing time. in the container with us was a tour boat, filled with people taking photos of us, with a man giving a commentary with a microphone.

once we were at the top things improved. over the next couple of days we pootled along the canal to edinburgh, a large city full of people who we couldn't understand. young dave left his mark in the middle of the main street, much to the peeps embarassment. herself did what she could with the old plastic bag trick but a certain miasma followed us. young dave never fails to deliver.

the rest of the week was spent pootling back again, and was unremarkable save for one breakfast time when herself was frying eggs for everyone. she was about to pour in some oil when she let out a shriek. yet again she had got her liquids muddled and was about to pour whisky into the frying pan. in her defence, the bottles are very similar. i suppose it gives a whole new meaning to scotch eggs...

Friday, August 28, 2009

oop north

hello dear readers! this is a post from your globetrotting reporter, joker the roving lurcher. as i dictate this we are in birmingham! this is a place of tall buildings and a lot of roads.

some time ago, her maamship invited us all to join her and the prof on a canal boat holiday in scotland. the peeps were very keen on the idea but unfortunately, because of my boy's fear, it was a no no. my boy, as regular readers will know, has not been very far from the house since last year. so the peeps thanked her maamship and the prof for their kindness and reluctantly declined.

as the summer went on my boy got a little more adventurous, at least on foot. he took to coming out to the local park with young dave and i when we went for our run. he even went to visit his mate pj. the peeps began to think they might have a holiday after all. the big problem with the scotland idea was that scotland is about as far as you can go from where we live. the prospect of my boy on a car journey of such magnitude filled them with dread. my boy loves canal boats,and felt most miserable at the idea of missing such a wonderful holiday.

her maamship had an idea. herself rang the doctor and asked about getting a sedative to knock my boy out for the duration of the car journey. the doctor told herself of an excellent car sickness medication that had the added bonus of making the recipient sleepy.

so this morning at some ungodly hour we were awoken by herself, in her usual cheery morning mode. herself is the only member of the family capable of cheerfulness at an early hour. himself was decidedly uncommunicative. my boy was fast asleep but once awoken, sprang into action. the peeps had done about half their packing last night but there was still quite a bit of organising and sorting out of chaos to be done. we finally set off at just after 5am.

after a couple of stops to empty the old tanks we arrived in birmingham, where we are to stay for tonight in her maamship's flat. had it not been for a rather tiresome feline member of the maamship-prof family we could have stayed with them in cheshire. but the flat is rather nice. it has a lift. i have, of course, been aquainted with lifts before. but young dave was enthralled. there was a lady in the roof of the lift. when the doors closed she said "doors closing!" and as we went up she told us which floor we were passing. young dave was listening so hard his ears did that funny thing where they join at the top and look like a cheap toupee. at the top floor we spilled out of the lift and went into the flat. the floors are all covered in pale carpet, which i have to say was not a very good choice on the part of her maamship if she is going to make a habit of having disreputable characters like us to stay.

we have now settled in and have been for a little stroll in a local park which has strange metal trees. now it is time for a little snooze...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the rakes progress

dear readers, herself has been having a fine old time this week. as regular readers will know, she has been having raking. this makes people more relaxed and in tune. the raking lady suggested that, because herself has such a lot of energy, she might like to share it with others and do a bit of raking herself. i was quite keen on this idea. the old hips have been giving me a fair bit of gip lately what with my arthritis and apparently raking can help.

it seems that in order to do raking you have to learn to sing properly. this is called attunement, which i assumed is something like tuning a piano. herself could certainly do with tuning up a bit. her singing is, to put it bluntly, somewhat feline (wash my mouth!). she only sings in the car, and only then when she is alone. however, alone in this context means with no fellow humans. young dave and i are expected to put our paws over our ears and get on with it.

so on monday the raking lady came round to make a start on the tuning. all four of us boys were banished from the house. unfortunately we returned before the end of the tuning. young dave was rather curious about what was going on. he spent some time sniffing the raking lady and tickling herself's face with his beard. we could not tell whether the raking had been successful or not as herself did not treat us to any songs that evening. tuesday was the second session, which was at the raking centre. part of this session involved herself learning how to do raking on someone else. the raking lady suggested that my boy might make an ideal model to practice on. herself suggested this to him.

"i'm not having black magic practiced on me!" he squawked, "i might turn into a toad!" herself tried to explain that raking was nothing to do with black magic but my boy was not moved. the raking practice therefore had to be done on the raking lady. she seemed to survive and gave herself some special stones. herself will also get a certificate which she can put on her wall next to the one that says she can use a chainsaw.

after becoming tuneful herself has to do a bit of meditation every day and practice raking for 21 days in order to make it stick in her head. she decided that this would give her a good reason to start yoga again as the raking could be tacked on the end of it. young dave has not been exposed to the joys of yoga. when he saw herself doing the downward dog thing he got very excited. herself ignored him so he decided to lie down on the yoga mat. i think this position is called 'child' which suits young dave rather well.

next week will be interesting. we have been invited to join her maamship and the prof on their boating holiday. i love a canal boat holiday. i am ideally designed to lie down along the middle of a boat. i am not sure how young dave will take to it. but what will be most interesting is the thought of herself doing yoga in such a confined space...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

from the sublime to the automatic

dear readers, the fun with cars has continued apace. as regular readers will recall, arthur the audi had a small lake in his rear footwell which was in danger of mucking up his inboard computer bits. herself tried to get estimates from a few garages but they said they could not guarantee that they would sort out the problem even though they would have to charge for their time. this did not appeal to herself, who tries to watch the pennies nowadays. so she went to the local audi dealer. while they are expensive, they at least know what makes an audi tick. or leak.

the estimate for the work was a scary amount but luckily herself had put some money aside for car repairs so all was well. the only problem was that herself was due to go away on her horse therapy course (or horse hugging course, as mr snake-charmer calls it) and driving up the motorway with the lights flashing randomly did not fill her with joy. luckily the audi dealer has spare cars which they lend to people. rather apologetically, the audi dealer said to herself,

"the only thing we have left to lend you is an A3." herself was fine with this as her old audi, sparky, was an A3 and was very pleasant. on the day when she went to drop off arthur the audi the man said, "change of plan. we are letting you have an A4 estate." herself was also fine with this. she likes audis in general. the paperwork was all done and the man went off to collect the replacement car.

herself stood outside, waiting for the A4. but the man appeared with a different car. it was a brand new jaguar. it turned out that the A4 had a warning light on which meant they had to let herself have a rather classier car than they intended.

"i'm sorry, its an automatic," said the man. "that's fine, i'm sure i'll cope," said herself, magnanimously.

the following day was the first day of the horse hugging course. as it was a long way away, herself had to get up very early indeed. even when herself can see what she is wearing she is sartorially challenged. when she gets dressed in the dark she is a sight to behold. add to this a distinct lack of sleep and you have a vision of loveliness. herself set off into the night. after a while she stopped for coffee. she noticed as she got out of the jaguar that she was being stared at a lot. the attention was not reduced when she set off the alarm on the jaguar by opening the boot instead of the fuel flap. it dawned on herself that the people looking thought she had stolen the car.

eventually, with one eye on the mirror in case of flashing blue lights, herself arrived at the horse hugging course. there were 30 other people on it, ranging from psychotherapists to people with livery yards. it seems everyone wants to learn to hug horses. i may volunteer as a stand-in huggee for smaller participants. i like a good hug myself.

the first evening herself was staying in birmingham with her maamship. her maamship has a flat in birmingham where she stays in the week while she does her judging. the following day herself drove to where the course was. this necessitated going up the M6. when you got off the M6 you had to turn left.

the second evening herself stayed with her maamship and the prof in their family home, which is north of where the course was. on the sunday morning, herself drove down the M6 and turned left, as she had the day before. even young dave could have worked out the problem with this. herself ended up somewhere miles away and was rather late, in spite of having risen very early.
the course ended that afternoon and herself headed home down the M6, proudly clutching her certificate. the jaguar had a little light on to say it was thirsty and needed diesel. herself saw that services were imminent. but alas, she had to turn off the M6 onto the M42 before she reached them. all was well as there was a sign saying that there were services in 20 miles. the on-board computer told her that she had 22 miles left in the tank. but as fate would have it, the turn-off to the M40 was before these services. there was a sign saying that the next services were in 20 miles. by now there was less than 20 miles in the tank. herself slowed down to 56 mph, having remembered that this was the most efficient speed. she also tucked in behind a lorry, a trick she remembered from her motorcycling days. as the distance to the services went down, so did the amount left in the tank. it became clear that there would be a shortfall of 2 or 3 miles.

herself got on the blower to himself. fortunately himself was on his computer.

"can you look up how accurate the fuel indicator is in a jaguar x-type?" she wailed. himself duly googled this, but found nothing helpful.

"just treat it like the diesel challenge!" he said. the diesel challenge was a game that the peeps used to play with my boy when he was young. for some reason not unconnected with lack of organisational skills and lack of money, the peeps were in the habit of driving round with very little fuel. it was often touch and go whether they would make it to the petrol station. so they turned it into an exciting competition between the humans and the car. fortunately the humans usually won.

luckily herself won the diesel challenge on this occasion too, with sighs of relief all round. when herself told people about her diesel adventure, everyone told her about an episode of top gear, on which some bloke had driven a jaguar right across europe on one tank of petrol. but he presumably had a film crew handy if he ran out...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

chasing cars

here is a picture of the next door's car. to put it bluntly this car is a very unlucky car. mrs next door calls this car "a corker of a car". i fear she is delusional. this picture was taken a couple of months ago. the next doors were having a bit of a busy time and the reminder for the car tax got left until the last minute. then when mrs next door tried to tax the car there was some bit of paper missing. when the bit of paper was found mrs next door's friend took all the stuff to the post office. but some other bit was now missing. in the end mrs next door had all the bits of paper and went along to tax the car. when she got back she found the car had been clamped. the nasty clamping people would not let the car go until money had changed hands. no amount of pleading made the slightest bit of difference.

then the next doors had a long journey to make. the day before the journey the corker of a car decided to drop its exhaust and develop a spluttering engine. as the journey was quite important herself lent mrs next door arthur the audi. herself drove mrs next door's car to work. this was a mistake. the corker of a car would not go out of second gear without spluttering as though it was going to die. herself would have got there more quickly on her bicycle. but arthur the audi did not let the side down in the bad car-ma stakes. halfway along the motorway a flood of water appeared from nowhere and soaked mr next door's feet.

it appears that the lack of power in the next door's car was due to a dodgy throttle cable. the cable had stretched to the point that when it was on the floor it hardly moved the engine. the garage did some greasing and fiddling and said that would keep it going for a bit. the next long journey that mrs next door went on the corker of a car did the opposite. it revved and revved with no encouragement whatsoever. in fact the revving was somewhat alarming. this it appears was due to the throttle cable sticking. herself knew about this because it happened once when she was on her motorbike, depositing her in a ditch. mrs next door managed to get back in one piece from this journey, largely because on motorways it is less noticable if one is going very fast.

as she drew into the little town where we live, the throttle cable gave one last groan and snapped. mrs next door managed to roll to the side of the road and left the corker of a car where it stood. when she rang the garage it turned out they did not do towing. this was something of a problem as mrs next door did not at this stage have breakdown cover. luckily the peeps have a tow rope. they set off with arthur the audi to where the corker of a car was malingering. having pushed it backwards to make a space arthur the audi assumed the position. herself got out and peered underneath for the towing bracket. there was none to be found. not a single thing presented itself as being vaguely suitable. at this stage himself was all for giving up and retiring home to the sofa.

but herself was not to be defeated. the manual was located and after some puzzling over diagrams of cars that looked nothing like the corker of a car the peeps found out what the problem was. i have to say that without the manual it would have been very unlikely that they would have worked this out. the peeps had to remove rather a lot of stuff from the boot, then remove the spare tyre, then locate a brass lump of metal which had to be unscrewed from the car body. even this simple task was not simple. the brass lump of metal (the towing eye to give it its correct name) unscrewed the other way to any other screw.

the peeps went back round to the front and peered at the bumper. it was not obvious where the towing eye screwed in. eventually they located a circular plate in the bumper which they managed to prise off. as the towing eye unscrewed the wrong way it also screwed back up the wrong way. but in the end they were ready. herself got back in arthur the audi and himself sat in the corker of a car. himself is an old hand at being towed as one of his brothers is a mechanic and himself learned to be towed long before he could drive. (unfortunately the mechanic brother lives hundreds of miles away so was not much help on this occasion). the peeps set off. almost immediately all the indicators on arthur the audi came on and stayed on, regardless of which buttons were pressed. this made it hard for herself to let himself know which way she was going. luckily the peeps had talked about the route beforehand. himself would have had very little choice anyway, given he was attached with a rope.

the corker of a car was duly delivered to the garage and arthur the audi was left outside the other garage which was going to look at the pool of water the next day. it seems the pool of water is the cause of the odd indicator behaviour. the electrics were very cleverly placed under the floor where the pool of water was.

as i dictate this missive the next doors are heading off to the west country to visit relatives. i just hope the corker of a car behaves itself...


readers, here you can see a rather poorly designed box. as you will see, the bottom slopes. every time the box is stood up it falls over. this box contains puff pastry. himself was making some sort of meat pie with pastry on top and herself decided to make a tart with the leftovers. but every time she stood the box up to read the instructions it fell over. so before she could make a start she had to modify the box. as you do.

then the tart was made:

and baked:

and was by all accounts delicious, although of course yours truly never got within a munch of it.

meanwhile, my boy was filling in one of the endless forms from the irritation authority. this form was to get my boys views about his education. my boy was scathing about the form.

"what do they mean 'what do i like about school?' i haven't been to school in months!"

"just keep it polite and try and answer the questions" said himself.

"and why has it got an exclamation mark after where it says 'tell us about yourself!' ? do they think i am going to be more motivated if they put an exclamation mark there? how patronising! i will not be controlled by punctuation!"

as my boy gives the Hoard of Menopausal Women a run for their money i somehow doubt a little bitty exclamation mark is going to cut the mustard...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

boys will be boys

dear readers, meet gimley. he is a large fellow with many wrinkles as you will see. i have yet to meet him as it is felt i might forget myself and try to get macho with him. it is not hard to guess who would come off worse in an arm-wrestling contest. gimley lives at the stables where herself goes for some peace and quiet. he has 6 fellow canines, one of which is a pug. the young snake-charmer is mad about pugs so herself took her to be introduced. i would show you a picture of the pug but pugs, it appears, do not stand still long enough to be photographed.

herself has been particularly enjoying her time at the stables this week. life is, as usual, a little fraught and time with large calm beasts seems to be the order of the day. the fraughtness arises from my boy and his education. "what a surprise!" i hear you say. my boy says he is no longer keen on the nice college with the animals. i think that in reality he is again feeling the pull of a career sitting in the dark playing computer games. getting used to change is not something that people of the beefburger persuasion are all that good at.

it has not helped that the peeps have still not managed to get the local irritation authority to agree to pay for the college. herself wrote a rather cross letter to the lawyer for the local irritation authority, saying that if they wouldn't agree to pay the fees she would pay them herself and sue the local education authority to get them back. she was able to make this promise because her maamship has offered to lend the peeps the money.

the letter seems to have moved things on a little. a nice man called ed sike came earlier this week to talk to my boy and do tests to see how clever he is. the peeps were rather concerned that young dave might let the side down with his mutty behaviour but mr sike has a dog of his own so was thankfully unshockable. next week my boy has to see a doctor and then hopefully the local irritation authority will be able to issue a new statement saying how wild my boy is and how much he has grown since the last statement of wildness was written. once this has been done things might finally get sorted out.

herself, meanwhile, is forging ahead with her own plans for education. she is going on a horse course. this is not to learn about horses but about therapy using horses. her maamship, upon hearing about horse therapy, said she had a mental picture of a horse sitting with its legs crossed asking someone how long they had been feeling like this. herself explained that the horse does the therapy without even speaking, which sounds most impressive. the horse course is not far from where her maamship resides so herself is going to spend the weekend with her maamship and travel to the horse course each day. young dave and i are to stay at home with himself and my boy. it will be very odd without the feminine influence that herself provides. i will miss the sound of drilling and hammering...